Ultraviolet B (UVB) irradiation activates aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR), generates reactive oxygen species (ROS) and mediates photocarcinogenesis and photoaging. 6-Formylindolo[3,2-b]carbazole (FICZ) is a tryptophan photoproduct generated by UVB exposure. FICZ exhibits similar biological effects to UVB, including AHR ligation and ROS production. FICZ also acts as a potent photosensitizer for UVA and the production of ROS is synergistically augmented in the simultaneous presence of FICZ and UVA. In contrast, FICZ upregulates the expression of terminal differentiation molecules such as filaggrin and loricrin via AHR. In parallel with this, the administration of FICZ inhibits skin inflammation in a murine psoriasis and dermatitis model. In this article, we summarize the harmful and beneficial aspects of FICZ in skin pathology.
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